The United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned airlines about counterfeit Rockwell Collins Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS transmitters/receivers being sold on the market.
The parts, sold throughout the US with counterfeit identification plates, are distributed by ‘Aviation Parts, LLC. of Moscow Russia’, according to the FAA’s document. The FAA says that it wished to warn “aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers, maintenance organizations, parts suppliers, brokers, and distributors” about the fake parts, which have part number 822-1293-XXX (TTR-921).
FAA made the discovery of the counterfeit TCAS transmitters/receivers following its Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP) investigation which began in December 2021. It showed that Aviation Parts, located in Moscow, Russia, sold a pair of TCAS transmitters/receivers that were reportedly overhauled.
However, they were in fact inoperable.
“Since December 2021, the FAA has received additional reports concerning TCAS Transmitters/Receivers identified as part number 822-1293-033 (TTR-921) being supplied by Aviation Parts,” the FAA’s document continued.
The agency said that the counterfeit parts were being altered to resemble TCAS transmitters/receivers made by Rockwell Collins, by “altering the outer housing and installing counterfeit identification plates to resemble the manufacturer’s identification plates”.
After testing the altered receivers/transmitters, the FAA concluded that they were actually inoperable.
“The FAA encourages aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers, maintenance organizations, parts suppliers, and distributors to inspect their aircraft and/or aircraft parts inventory for any articles (i.e., parts) that have been distributed by Aviation Parts,” the agency said, adding that if a company does find such a part, they should be quarantined until they are approved for usage. Alternatively, stakeholders are advised to replace the transmitters/receivers with FAA-approved parts.
Recently, a high-profile incident occurred in the US which underlined the vital importance of TCAS. An Allegiant Air Airbus A320 and a Gulfstream IV private jet were set on a collision course after both had departed Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Both aircraft TCAS systems triggered, forcing pilots of the Airbus A320 and Gulfstream IV to take evasive action by deviating from the other aircraft’s flight path.
Unfortunately, during the incident, an Allegiant Air flight attendant suffered injuries, forcing the Airbus A320 to divert back to FLL.